I surprise myself wanting to write about flowers! Maybe this is because I went to the Northumbrian National Park last week for a lovely break where I saw lots of exquisite wild flowers still blooming around Kielder Water in the gentle late August sun. Secondly, I am going to the Botanical Gardens at Sheffield this weekend to show work, where I will be in tough competition with the natural beauty of plants!
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When I look back I know that I have always invited floral themes as subject matter, but maybe not in a particularly conventional way. They stimulate and encourage a mixed media approach and invites a closer look (see the work of Georgia O’Keeffe).
I created this piece three years ago as a celebration of a dear friend in my village and her fantastic garden, a true artist’s garden created over some 18 years. The format is a story book with lines from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Glory of The Garden” interwoven with rich texture, colour and stitching. In the collaging I enjoyed using saved wrapping paper, as well as sweet wrappers and handmade paper.
Early last year I played again with flowers, longing for spring after a tough winter up in the hills. I experimented with mono-printing, seeing through layers and stitching again on my ever loyal 45 year old Husqvarna! One of these pieces was purchased to be a wedding present. I appreciate the ability flowers have to fit so many occasions and express different emotions.
Inspired by an old Swedish Psalm I created this pair, again utilising a variety of recycled materials, stitching and mono-printing. The story talks of flowers blooming in the hardest places; maybe their sheer feistiness is why I will regularly return to them for encouragement. Just now I am working on a tulip theme commissioned by a feisty and fun lady in Sweden.